RepRap, the project aimed to develop a 3D printer that can reproduce itself, has an obvious problem. Where do you get the first printer from, if you don’t have one to print itself?
Yes, you could order a kit, or make it from plans. But there is now an easier way: using the Ponoko personal manufacturing service to produce many of the necessary parts. And there’s no charge for the design, too.
Ponoko hosts designs and can manufacture them on demand as well. Plans have been posted that are suitable for printing most of the parts of a RepRap in acrylic (excluding motors and circuits, obviously) and that should make it a bit easier to get started into RepRap.
Via Ponoko (Hat Tip to Tom Easton on this one!)